The Key Election Factor -- Hispanic Turnout
In a planned off-the-record interview with the Des Moines Register that was made public last week, Obama said, "Should I win a second term, a big reason I will win a second term is because the Republican nominee and the
As was to be expected, Republican candidate Gov.
Yet, a dispassionate look at the record shows that Romney has tilted so far to the right on immigration, taxes, health care and other issues that are dear to Hispanics, that even former Republican hopeful
According to the latest polls, Romney may be the Republican candidate who will get the smallest percentage of Latino votes in recent history.
If Romney gets less than 25 percent of the Hispanic vote, it will be the worst performance of any Republican candidate since 1996. Republican candidate
It doesn't take a political scientist to explain why Romney is so unpopular among Hispanics. He earned it all by himself.
In his much-publicized comments during a May fundraiser that was secretly taped and made public recently, Romney said that 47 percent of Americans will vote for Obama "no matter what," because they "are dependent upon government," and "believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it." Romney added, "(M)y job is not to worry about those people."
It so happens that a huge percentage of Latino voters come from immigrant families that couldn't have risen to the middle class without government help to pay for their health care and education. When Romney said his job was not to worry about the 47 percent that depend on government aid, Latinos felt he was talking about them.
Although in recent weeks he has tried to downplay his hard-line stands on immigration, without walking away from them, Romney said during the primaries that
Romney also said earlier this year that he would veto the DREAM Act, which would give a path to citizenship to up to 1.7 million immigrant students who were raised in this country. Also during the primaries, Romney called for the "self-deportation" of nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants. Translation: make the life of undocumented immigrants so difficult that they will have little choice but to return home voluntarily. Most Latinos fear that strategy would lead to racial profiling, and directly or indirectly affect all Hispanics.
Perhaps most damning to Romney was his tone and demeanor when referring to Latino immigrants. Even after the primaries, Romney kept using the term "illegal aliens," which most Latinos see as a dehumanizing label aimed at justifying extreme anti-immigration measures.
My opinion: Obama is right in that Romney has alienated the biggest minority in this country in his quest for right wing Republican support. But the key factor will be whether Latinos are motivated enough to turn out on
The Romney strategy in the final days before the election will be to try to soften Latino voters' enthusiasm for Obama, reminding them of the country's bad economic figures, so that they stay at home on
Obama doesn't have to do much to convince Latinos to like him, because Romney has already done that work for him. The big question is whether Latinos will go out and vote on
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The Key Election Factor -- Hispanic Turnout | Politics
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